Fantasia: Ashura, Arahan and Karaoke Terror

As you may know every year I go to the Fantasia Film Festival and I see an insane amount of movies in a very short amount of time. This year is no different, as I will see 19 movies in the span of a little less than three weeks. I will record the movies I see here for my own reference and also help you decide if you want to see them (if they still play at Fantasia, or later on DVD). They're by no means complete reviews, just pointers.

Thursday I saw Ashura, an entirely forgettable Edo-period demon-hunting action adventure film with a hint of comedy. The comic aspects are actually what works best in that movie, as the action scenes are nothing you've never seen before. There's enough good moments to recommend a rental on a slow night. 6/10

Saturday night was a double-feature : Arahan followed by Karaoke Terror. Both were fantastic. Arahan is a hilarious Korean action-comedy film where everything just seems to work. It's about a group of old, washed up Tao masters who find a young klutzy cop that they feel will be the new Tao Master. It still plays twice at Fantasia, so don't miss it. 9/10

Karaoke Terror is, at this point, the highlight of the festival. A brilliant ultra-violent gang war movie. Pitted against each other are young kids with no purpose in life and equally dispassionate middle-aged women. Their war will rapidly escalate to unreal proportions. The acting is awesome, the script is fabulous. You will either laugh yourself silly or be totally depressed. A real must-see. 10/10

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